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ASSIGNMENTS FALL 2015
We should be optimistic! What can happen for our oceans when we make our effort for conservation the maximum it can be is well worth the time and energy. If we don't implement and enforce the regulations we make, it wont help anything. We need to get more creative with our conservative ideas, so that we can make a change in our oceans.
Only 4% of the world's coasts are designated "marine protected areas", and 0.7% of the open ocean is falling under protected areas. We have a long way to go until we reach our commitment to protect 10% of their respected waters.
The Time Traveler
It may be a stormy night, but my colleagues Sarah Hairtalice, Micha Nogsmotter, and I, Dr. Claire Flugalson have a big few days ahead of us. You see we are being funded by R.R.O or The Reptile Research Organization, an Organization dedicated to the research of reptiles. Last year they bought one of five time machines ever made. The R.R.O is funding a trip to the Mesozoic Era, to bring back a dinosaur carcass for them to study. Tonight is the night that we are being sent back to the Cretaceous period. The dinosaurs really flourished during this period of time so it should be easy to find a carcass somewhere, right? Before tonight we all studied this era so we would be prepared for anything and everything. I know that the continents were once a super continent called Pangaea; and was surrounded by a world-ocean known as Panthalassa. But the time period we are going to the continents separated from the super continent to two subcontinents called Laurasia and Gondwana and they are still separating to almost what they are today. I made sure to pack sun screen knowing that the climate there is hotter and more humid than I am obviously used to. Its time! We are getting in the time machine, which is much smaller than I had expected. In just a few hours we will be there, where no human had been before, in the Age of Reptiles.
I have a good exploration team with me. You see Sarah Hairtalice is a geographer, specializing in Geologic Eras. Micha Nogsmotter is a paleontologist that has come along to journal, he must be so excited to arrive. I know I would be if I had been studying them for more than 15 years. They both have a good sense of humor, and are generally good people. I, on the other hand am in charge of this expedition. All I am is a babysitter, really. The R.R.O didn't feel comfortable letting Sarah, and Micha go back in time alone together, they don't usually see eye to eye. Why not hire a different geographer and paleontologist? Because they are the best there is, so that's why I am here. Who would pass up a free trip to the Cretaceous period though anyways? We don't have much to bring with us. All we really need is a compass, map of Laurasia, and a special box to put the specimen in. Well we of course have food and water, along with blankets, and a huge tent. This trip shouldn't take more than 2 or 3 days. The Time Machine will stay in the spot we arrived at until we all return, and take a seat inside. But there was one rule; to be able to return home we cant be empty handed. We have to have a specimen to bring back with us.
We had arrived four hours ago, with no luck of finding a dead dinosaur. This place is amazing, I mean I knew it would be, but I couldn't even imagine what it would really be like. There are dinosaurs everywhere, and big huge bugs. I look up to the top of the trees called conifers and see huge a Brontosaurus eating them happily. Its pretty warm and feels like I'm in a sauna. I hope that I will get used to it soon. The next day we set off to find the carcass of a small dinosaur to bring back to our period of time; the 21st century. It has been 3 days, with no luck of finding a dinosaur to bring back with us. We have barely any food left. Just a few granola bars and 2 more bottles of water to share. We need to find a dinosaur soon, or else we will have nothing to show for our work. It has been 4 hours and all we have left is a single bottle of water. And we still haven't found a single thing. What are we going to do? We can't leave until we have a dinosaur in this box.
We have been out of food and water for a day. We never thought that this would happen to us. It didn't seem like this would be a difficult task. We are heading towards the west to search for a small carcass. We shouldn't hike too far away from our time machine or we wont be able to get back without dehydrating. Of course Micha and Sarah were fighting, so I told them to walk on separate sides of me. Next thing I know I tripped and fell. When I looked down there it was, lying there; our beautiful specimen. We put it into the special box with memory foam padding and sealed it up. On our way back to our camp we were all so proud of our find.
It took us about two and a half hours to walk back to the time machine. It took another thirty minutes until we were ready to leave, and a long two hours until we arrived back home. To civilization, and to food and water. When we got back I ran to the water fountain and stood there for at least five minutes. It tasted so good and felt even better to re-hydrate my body. We were all so happy to be back. We found out that our specimen was a
, it is about three feet long and looks kind of like a juvenile velociraptor. It weighs about seven pounds and is an advanced theropod. At least that's all I could remember, I was to happy eating my sandwich. It was an amazing journey. I may have the opportunity to travel back in time again. I think I might just stay here in the Cenozoic Era, the period where we belong.
The Age of Reptiles
The Age of Reptiles was an extraordinary time that started 286 million years ago and didn't end for 183 million years. This era is known as the Mesozoic era that was broken into 3 periods; the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous period. Earth was hot and the continents were still one big super continent called Pangaea, but slowly the continents started breaking up into almost what they are today. This was the time when the reptiles were the dominant species on Earth. The climate was hot and dry for the majority of the Mesozoic era. It started with smaller reptiles at first but then during the Jurassic the ginormous ones started roaming earth as well. Eventually the Mesozoic era suffered a mass extinction 65 million years ago, thus ending the age of reptiles.
How long did it last?:
The age of reptiles was 286 million years ago to 65 million years ago, during the Mesozoic Era. The Mesozoic Era, is divided into 3 periods, the Triassic period, Jurassic period, and the Cretaceous period.
What did the continents look like?:
Triassic Period: During the Triassic period the continents were still one big super continent called Pangaea
Jurassic Period: During the mid-Jurassic period Pangaea started breaking up into the northern subcontinent Laurasia, and the southern subcontinent Gondwana.
Cretaceous Period: Continental drift continued at a fast pace, with accompanying volcanic activity. The continents almost had their modern day look.
What was happening on Earth?:
During the Triassic Period, from the east a vast gulf entered Pangaea, the Tethys Sea. It opened farther westward in the mid-Triassic, at the expense of the shrinking Paleo-Tethys Ocean , an ocean that existed during the Paleozoic. The remaining shores were surrounded by the world-ocean known as Panthalassa ("all the sea"). The climate was hot, and dry with strong seasonality.
he Jurassic Period, the North Atlantic Ocean was relatively narrow, while the South Atlantic did not open until the following Cretaceous period, when Gondwana itself rifted apart. The Tethys Sea closed, and the Neotethys basin appeared. Climates were warm, with no evidence of glaciation. As in the Triassic, there was apparently no land near either pole, and no extensive ice caps existed. The climate was hot and dry with strong seasonality at first, changing from warm and moist with no polar ice and vast flooded areas.
During the Cretaceous Period, as the Atlantic Ocean widened, the convergent-margin orogenies that had begun during the Jurassic continued in the North American Cordillera, as the Nevadan Orogeny was followed by the Sevier and Laramide orogenies. The temperatures were warm, seasonality was low, and the global sea levels were high (no polar ice!) at the beginning of the cretaceous. Later sea levels dropped, seasonality increased, and there were greater extremes in temperature between the poles and the equator.
Plants and animals:
Triassic: Small fast dinosaurs appeared for the first time. The first tiny nocturnal mammals developed. Ichthyosaurs (marine reptiles) swan in the seas. Ferns, glossopterus, cycads, horsetails, and early gymnosperms abounded during the Mesozoic.
Jurassic: More dinosaurs, including gigantic ones, roamed the earth and pterosaurs flew. Archaeopteryx, the first primitive dinosaur like bird developed.
Cretaceous: Dinosaurs flourish. Flowering plants (angiosperms) spread, displacing conifers and others. The oldest known ants, snakes, and butterflies arose towards the end of the Mesozoic Era. A major extinction occurred during the end of the Mesozoic, 65 million years ago.
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